Jeffs FS14 LS

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VT_Jeff
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Jeffs FS14 LS

Post by VT_Jeff » Fri Nov 01, 2019 3:50 pm

Hello,

I just bought plans for the FS14 LS, will be picking up plywood in Boston in a couple weeks. The support on these forums was a big part of my decision. Really great user-base here, hats off to all of you.

This will be my second build, I built a SnG drift boat from plans last winter, still putting some final touches on it but my wife and I fished hard from it all summer. She's a recent convert to fly-fishing after a 15 year obsession with whitewater kayaking, the fly-fishing obsession appears to be just as strong or stronger. We have no experience with flats fishing but am not going to let that small detail slow me down building a dedicated flats boat and getting started. We both work from home, have an RV and plan on spending some time in FL, already have trip booked to Homosassa in March/April to start scouting. Will bring the driftboat with a trolling motor, some SUPS and try our luck.

I think the FS14 LS is probably a bit small for the two of us but it will fit out my basement door, it will go good with a honda 20hp 4cycle I have lined up, it will fit on the trailer I currently use to haul the drift boat and motorcycle together, and it should be no less stable than the SUP's we fish on regularly, in whitewater.

I've been studying the plans and drooling over Seaslugs build. I don't expect mine to be anywhere near that build quality but it's good to have a benchmark. Giving myself about 18 months to get it splashed, goal is to bring it to florida on next years spring trip.

I have a couple questions which will not actually be pertinent for quite a while.

First question: Plans show a motor well. I noticed seaslug did not put one on his boat. The plans do not indicate if the motor well should be closed to the bilge or open. My preference would be to skip it if it looks like the motor can be tilted without it(no plans for jack plate presently, and not sure if that even matters), otherwise sealed from the bilge with scuppers though the transom. How critical is it and what's the recommended configuration?

Second question is about the self-bailing cockpit. I actually built the driftboat as self-bailing but went the super-simple method of adding a pluggable scupper just above the deck: no hoses, no throughhulls etc. I normally plug it while drifting and open it when left on the trailer/dock to drain rain, but I can leave it open in heavy whitewater to drain waves etc, which was the goal. That particular function has not really been tested yet. The The FS plans don't specify where to run the drains, how big, if they should cross(I have a sailboat and the cockpit drains cross to prevent flooding while heeling) and if they should drain below the waterline of in that small gap between the waterline and the sole-top.

Any thoughts more than welcome.

Thanks,

jeff


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Re: Jeffs FS14 LS

Post by jacquesmm » Fri Nov 01, 2019 5:59 pm

1. Motorwell: it depends. If you install the motor on a bracket, you don't need a motorwell. For a motor bolted to the transom, you need the splashwell in order to tilt the motor and to provide room for the steering IF you have remote steering.
If you have a motorwell, drill a drain hole through the transom in each corner.
2. The plans show a limber hole in the middle bottom of each frame and you need a drain plug in the transom.
This boat is like a big paddle board, she will float even with the small cockpit filled with water. If you want, you can cut drain holes in the rear corners of the cockpit. She will drain at rest, with nobody in the boat. With one person onboard, the cockpit should drain: the displacement at the designed waterline is 610 lbs but there is a 120 lbs safety margin built-in. That means water will reach the level of the top of the sole at 730 lbs total weight. That could be enough for two persons and reasonable engine and gear.
It is a small boat and we are faced with the usual choice: raise to sole and reduce the stability or get a stable safe boat that may not drain when overloaded. If you want to drain, use scuppers that can be plugged.
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Re: Jeffs FS14 LS

Post by seaslug » Fri Nov 01, 2019 9:33 pm

Hi Jeff, thanks for the compliments on my build, and welcome to the group. You've already built a beautiful drift boat, so the FS14 will be a breeze. My personal belief with these smallish flats skiffs is a fairly simple build with no wet bilge and minimum accessories. Tiller motor, running lights, a few switches for whatever, and that's about it. If you have properly built hatches with deep gutters and adequate drains, below deck stays completely dry, so no need for a wet moldy bilge. This design is self bailing at rest, so a drain plug in the cockpit, with a hose or pipe exiting the lowest point you can drill in the transom, and that's all you need. I've only been caught out in a heavy rain once in my FS18 while poling a shallow flat, so a little water was in the cockpit until I was deep enough to run the outboard. Even if the cockpit filled entirely the boat would stay afloat, and you could always use a bailing bucket or hand pump in that situation. As long as your transom is a few inches higher than the aft deck there is no need for a motor well either. The low sheer version finishes out at just under 14 feet, with a 58-60" beam. It should fly with a 20, and I think it could be a fun little skiff with just enough room for 2 anglers, 1 poling, and 1 fishing on the bow. 9 foot fly rods could be a challenge, not sure if there's enough boat length for storing in rod tubes. You might have to break them down, or store them on deck. Have to go for now. Nice group of guys willing to help out with advice here on the forum, so don't be shy, ask as many questions as needed for a successful build. Mike

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Re: Jeffs FS14 LS

Post by Fair WX Pilot » Sun Nov 03, 2019 11:57 am

Hi Jeff, looking forward to following your build. You’re boat looks great by the way. I don’t know if you have ordered your ply yet but Goosebay Sawmill and Lumber is a marine lumber yard in Concord NH and stocks Meranti and Okoumi. It’s closer to you and you won’t have any Massachusetts sales tax to pay.
Alan.

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Re: Jeffs FS14 LS

Post by VT_Jeff » Sun Nov 03, 2019 2:48 pm

Alan, great suggestion, will check them out! Boulter in Medford has been great but good to have options and pay less tax, for sure!

Mike, Thanks so much for the info. Glad you like the drifter.
Regarding hatches, I spent quite a while studying photos of your gold-standard hatches as well as some other peoples and at the end of it, I decided that simple, "wet" hatches that are strapped down(no hinges hardware is my current thought) and a wet (and moldy) bilge with a bilge pump would be the simplest way to go. I made some sketches of hatches like yours but my thought was to build the gutters from 3 pieces instead of routing them from a single piece to cut down on the labor. Will not easily allow for the nice curves/shapes you got and I can't decide if they my be problematic carrying the loads they need to. I'll continue considering it but at the moment I think I'm leaning towards the dead-simple wet ones and deal with the mold as I do on my other boats.

Jacques, 10-4 on the motor well/self-bail considerations, thank you.

Unless convinced otherwise, I'm going to upsize the boat 10%, (66" is literally the max I can get through my basement slider, which is perfect)and my thought is to change the stringers from 6mm to 9mm unless it's deemed unneccessary. Plan is to double the transom for the heavy 4-stroke. I read on another thread someone say that the frames did not need to be increased, not sure I understand this. I'm going to scale everything except the thicknesses of the ply and the height of the transom. Occurred to me that scaling the lofting stations from 12" to 13.2" inches would be the simplest way to loft the scaled curves. Also have an autocad resource who can just scale the plans/remeasure for me if required, though I THINK I have a handle on it, time will tell.

Thanks again,

Jeff
There are only two seasons in Vermont: boating season, and boat-building season.

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Re: Jeffs FS14 LS

Post by pee wee » Mon Nov 04, 2019 8:54 am

On the subject of dry vs. wet storage, one approach is to assume water will get in, and allow for it to get out via drain holes. You can further simplify things by doing away with hatches entirely, and cut access holes in the bulkhead, maybe use netting to contain the contents. Good ventilation and drainage should minimize mold growth; your build will be faster and simpler, and the weight is (hopefully) kept down. When Jacques is calculating hull weight for a design, he typically does not assume hatches, so most of us go over the weight shown in the study plans.

It does seem that without going to great pains, compartments will leak (sometimes they still do). The builder's goal is to figure out how to deal with that fact.
Hank

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Re: Jeffs FS14 LS

Post by jacquesmm » Mon Nov 04, 2019 9:49 am

Scale everything by the same factor in CAD. It's easy and safe.
No need to increase the hull skin thickness but OK to go up one notch with the stringers.
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Re: Jeffs FS14 LS

Post by VT_Jeff » Mon Nov 04, 2019 11:00 am

Hank, thanks for the thoughts. I am seriously considering your idea as well: no hatches at all, just access through the bulkheads. All three options are on the table at the moment: No hatches, wet hatches, and SeaSlug hatches, which I'm slowly gaining confidence about building as I think it through it more. My router experience/skill/confidence is limited but I'm thinking I can channel the members ahead of time on my table saw with a to-width dado blade, eliminate the drill press/rough routing, leaving me with just a flush-trim operation to get the cut edges of the hatch opening flush with the gutter sides. The inner lip would not penetrate the bottom of the hatch lid as Mikes do, so not quite as water-proof. Also thinking about some lightweight gutters if I can figure out how to make them work and still carry the load of someone standing on the hatch. My guess is that Mikes gutters are designed to support the load on the inside lip, which is why they need to be so beefy.

Jacques, thanks for the confirmation on the upsize, appreciate it! I suspect that when I re-nest, it will be possible to get the stringers out of the extra 9mm sheet.


Jeff
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Re: Jeffs FS14 LS

Post by joe2700 » Mon Nov 04, 2019 11:42 am

Fair WX Pilot wrote:
Sun Nov 03, 2019 11:57 am
Hi Jeff, looking forward to following your build. You’re boat looks great by the way. I don’t know if you have ordered your ply yet but Goosebay Sawmill and Lumber is a marine lumber yard in Concord NH and stocks Meranti and Okoumi. It’s closer to you and you won’t have any Massachusetts sales tax to pay.
This probably doesn't matter in NH or VT but in MA when I register the boat I need to show I paid sales tax on the materials to avoid paying sales tax on the whole boat. The plywood(from Boulter) and the motor purchased locally are the main things I'm going to show for that.

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Re: Jeffs FS14 LS

Post by VT_Jeff » Mon Nov 04, 2019 12:18 pm

joe2700 wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 11:42 am
This probably doesn't matter in NH or VT but in MA when I register the boat I need to show I paid sales tax on the materials to avoid paying sales tax on the whole boat. The plywood(from Boulter) and the motor purchased locally are the main things I'm going to show for that.
Interesting. When I registered my driftboat in VT, I showed them my receipts and paid tax on the total of the receipts I showed, I did not consider the fact that I had already paid tax on those materials, that's an excellent point! Why should I pay taxes on a boat that I built with materials on which the tax was already paid? I'll pay more attention next time, thanks for the heads up!
There are only two seasons in Vermont: boating season, and boat-building season.

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